“Islands in the Stream”…or how to lose your audience in one easy step

Monday, November 2nd, 2009 by Simon Morton

A lot of presentations contain some really good bits of content which tick all the boxes:

  • They’re succinct
  • They deliver the key message clearly
  • …and generally make for a good (part of) a presentation.

The trouble is that these are often isolated pieces of work in a slide deck of otherwise bad or average content. Sadly these “islands of clarity” quickly get dragged down to the common denominator because there is no clear link between each of them.  The end result?  A poor/average presentation with “could do better” written all over it.

Desert Island - Framed

The basic problem here is structure…or more specifically a distinct lack of one. No matter how fancy your slides and visuals, by failing to link your story together you’re onto a loser.

Planning a clear and succinct structure is a critical step in delivering a quality presentation. It’s no accident that Eyeful’s Presentation Optimisation methodology has structure at the very heart of it.  At its most basic level, the planning process will quickly highlight which of your “islands” are actually helping you deliver your message…and which ones can be dropped.

BTW – anyone who can honestly say they haven’t kept a slide in because their proud of it or just love it – even when it didn’t really back up their key message – please let us know.  We wager there aren’t many of you out there!

So to move from a presentation peppered with “islands of clarity” through to an “archipelago” (definition: a cluster of tightly linked islands), think structure first… slide aesthestics second!

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